Jenks announces Distance Learning Plan, school to end May 15
In response to the Oklahoma State Board of Education’s decision last week to close school buildings for the remainder of the academic year, the Jenks School Board met Wednesday to discuss the final six weeks of the school year.
“The two weeks school was closed following spring break were designed to give school leaders an opportunity to hit pause, focus on health, safety and well-being and to begin looking at our plans for how we are going to do distance learning beginning April 6 (Monday),” Jenks Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Stacey Butterfield said. “We are changing everything we are doing at Jenks Public Schools from the ground up.”
During the special School Board meeting, Jenks Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lisa Muller unveiled how each level of education at JPS would handle distance learning.
All Elementary levels from Pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade will be using a “choice board” or a menu that has been established in each area that is taught in a regular school day. The menu includes multiple options for learning experiences and includes items that don’t require much technology and ones that do.
Dr. Muller asked that families choose different activities from each one of those menu areas during the day as the students are working on their instruction.
For students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, they are required to have 45 minutes of instructional time every day. Students in first and second grade are required to have 70 minutes of instructional time and students in third and fourth grade are required to have 80 minutes.
Intermediate students at Jenks in fifth and sixth grade are required to use the Canvas Learning Management System that will be operated and assigned by their teachers. That will be used for the mathematics and language arts subjects and then for their specialized or elective subjects, they will be required to use the same “choice board” as the elementary level students.
Fifth and sixth grade students are required to have 90 minutes of instructional time every day.
Middle school and high school students fall under the secondary education category, as they have six classes every school day. They will be required to spend 30 minutes per day in those subjects and it will be done through the Canvas Learning Management System.
Students in seventh through 12th grade are required to get three hours of instructional time every day.
Muller added that teachers will be asked to connect with students in a variety of ways.
“We know this is not the way any of us envisioned ending our school year,” Dr. Butterfield said. “Students are anxious to reconnect with their friends and our employees are anxious to reconnect with one another. Many students are anxious to reconnect with their teachers and are ready to learn and work on their goals. We are focused on making decisions that are best for our students, families and employees. These are not easy decisions. These are unprecedented times. We ask for everyone’s patience. It’s time to give each other grace and support one another. It’s time to pull together and finish the year strong.”
Butterfield said the plan is for the last day of school to be May 15.
“I am so incredibly proud of the way everyone is stepping up and coming together. We will continue to focus on health and safety. We know these are extraordinary times and we know everyone will rally and we will make it through this together.”